Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement today after U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced that the agency will provide over $485 million in grants to help states fight opioid addiction, including more than $27 million to Florida:
 
“I continue to hear from local officials and members of law enforcement across the state about how the opioid epidemic is ravaging Florida communities. We must do more to ensure people seeking help are able to get necessary treatment and first responders are equipped with opioid-reversal drugs to save lives. I’m glad Secretary Azar has made this issue a priority, and that Florida will have these additional resources to tackle the dangerous substances that are destroying so many lives.”
 
Rubio supported the 21st Century Cures Act, which became law in December 2016 and authorized $1 billion over two years for states to combat the opioid epidemic. The grants announced today will be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
 
Yesterday, Rubio co-led an initiative adopted by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee aimed at tackling the opioid crisis.
 
Last year, Rubio introduced the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, legislation that would restrict the flow of fentanyl into the country via the U.S. Postal Service. The Senate also passed Rubio’s INTERDICT Act, legislation that will provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with additional tools to help detect and interdict fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids. Last March, the Senate passed a Rubio-sponsored resolution calling for international cooperation to address the trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States.
 
In 2016, Rubio chaired a Western Hemisphere subcommittee hearing on the international roots of America’s heroin epidemic, and helped pass into law the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA), legislation aimed at addressing the heroin and opioid crisis.